Back in 1969, The Rolling Stones presented “Gimme Shelter” from their “new” album at the time, “Let It Bleed” on Ed Sullivan’s Show. And they almost couldn’t be heard because of the girls screaming in the audience.
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“Gimme Shelter” was recorded as the opening track of the 1969 “Let It Bleed” album. Although the first phrase “hour time” of the title was written as “Gimmie” in that album, as later recordings of the band and other musicians of “Gimme” the usual spelling. It was first performed live in 1969 on Pop Go The Sixties, a British television musical program.
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song was created from the joint efforts of both the singer and guitarist, respectively. Richards was working on opening the song in London while Jagger was filming Performance, his first appearance in the movies.
It begins with a Richards guitar intro, followed by Jagger’s vocal. In the recording of the album, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine: “Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. It was a very rough, very violent era, the Vietnam War, the violence on the screen, the looting and the fires, and Vietnam was not a conventional war as we knew …) concludes on the song: “That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.” (“This is a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s the apocalypse, the whole album is like this.”)
The lyrics of the song speak of seeking shelter in an approaching storm, painting a picture of devastation and social apocalypse at the same time, speaking of the power of love.
To complete a second vocal frequency, in high-pitched notes, a vocalist Merry Clayton, a Los Angeles gospel singer, was invited. On his participation, Jagger said in 2003 in the book According to … The Rolling Stones: “The use of the female voice and idea of producer Jimmy Miller.” Clayton gives his individual performance in one of the most famous pieces of music after a solo run by Richards, repeatedly, chanting “Rape, Murder; It’s just a shot, it’s just a shot (Rape, Murder, it’s just a shot from afar, it’s a shot away), “and finally scream one last stanza.
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